Photosystem I light-harvesting proteins regulate photosynthetic electron transfer and hydrogen production

Thi Thu Hoai Ho, Chris Schwier, Tamar Elman, Vera Fleuter, Karen Zinzius, Martin Scholz, Iftach Yacoby, Felix Buchert, Michael Hippler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Linear electron flow (LEF) and cyclic electron flow (CEF) compete for light-driven electrons transferred from the acceptor side of photosystem I (PSI). Under anoxic conditions, such highly reducing electrons also could be used for hydrogen (H2) production via electron transfer between ferredoxin and hydrogenase in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Partitioning between LEF and CEF is regulated through PROTON-GRADIENT REGULATION5 (PGR5). There is evidence that partitioning of electrons also could be mediated via PSI remodeling processes. This plasticity is linked to the dynamics of PSI-associated light-harvesting proteins (LHCAs) LHCA2 and LHCA9. These two unique light-harvesting proteins are distinct from all other LHCAs because they are loosely bound at the PSAL pole. Here, we investigated photosynthetic electron transfer and H2 production in single, double, and triple mutants deficient in PGR5, LHCA2, and LHCA9. Our data indicate that lhca2 and lhca9 mutants are efficient in photosynthetic electron transfer, that LHCA2 impacts the pgr5 phenotype, and that pgr5/lhca2 is a potent H2 photo-producer. In addition, pgr5/lhca2 and pgr5/lhca9 mutants displayed substantially different H2 photo-production kinetics. This indicates that the absence of LHCA2 or LHCA9 impacts H2 photo-production independently, despite both being attached at the PSAL pole, pointing to distinct regulatory capacities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-343
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2022


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